"River time." It's that blissful oasis reached only by pushing off from terra firma, leaping board a raft, kayak, or canoe, and leaving the real world behind. Preferably for more than an afternoon. In the West, this generally is accomplished by heading for the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Green, the Selway, or the Lochsa rivers. For those truly lucky souls, it means putting in from Lee's Ferry onto the Colorado River for two or more weeks of riverine solitude.
NPT Reviews of Books and other Material
A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape
Timing is everything in the publishing world. Sometimes it's a help, sometimes a hindrance. In the case of a new hiking guide to the trails of Mount Rainier National Park, the November 2006 storms that ravaged the park were a tad untimely.
If you're interested in taking a day hike or two in North Cascades National Park, a new guidebook is on its way to bookstores. Though it spans much of northwestern Washington state and is not specific to the national park, Day Hiking: North Cascades offers a few opportunities in the park.
Though most Americans hardly ever glimpse them, wild horses are synonymous with the American West. From John Wayne Westerns to The Electric Horseman, the iconic horse gallops across our memories, wild and free. But how did they arrive in the West? And how have we coexisted with horses?
California’s northern coast holds many secrets. The foggy landscape is full of imposing mountains, windswept beaches, and valleys that rival the hollows of the Smokies in terms of narrow inaccessibility. Bigfoot is rumored to live in the area, and somewhere the world’s tallest living being, a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) named "Hyperion," stands witness to the passage of more than two thousand years.
Stephen R. Brown published his World War II Memorial photo book a full three years ago this month, but it somehow never ended up on the Traveler’s Fireside Read list. It’s high time to fix that, so let’s just dispense with the “better late than never” weasel-speak and get on with it.
Quite a bit has been written on the geologic underpinnings of Yellowstone National Park, particularly the aspect of the park sitting atop a gigantic volcano. The latest window into this world, from Greg Breining, is a good read for the lay volcanologist with an interest in the park.
I know, this doesn't sound like a park-related read, but it's based around the livelihoods of lobstermen who settled on and around Mount Desert Island more than a century ago.
You ever wonder where place names originate? I mean, Hog Key Campsite in Everglades National Park? And University Dock in Biscayne National Park? What were they thinking?
Tucked away where northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah converge, Dinosaur National Monument is a remote, oft-overlooked place. Writer Hal Crimmel and photographer Steve Gaffney give it substance and definition.
It's hard to beat a bird book that offers you an opportunity not only to see what they look like but to actually hear the birds' calls and songs. Bird Songs From Around the World does just that, but it might not be your best option.
With sound recorder in hand, I had looked to the book "Wild Soundscapes" to help me figure out the details of creating a really great field recording of my visits to the parks. The book met some of my expectations, but fell short of others. I thought the best part of the book was the included audio CD; whales in Alaska, coyotes in New Mexico, and elk in Yellowstone. Read on for the details.
After Mr. Blevins passed away, park staff began to notice unusual things at the Blevins Farmstead. More than one ranger reported getting the "willies" while at Oscar’s farm. One hot summer evening, a ranger was unsaddling a horse inside the corral behind the barn when his hair stood up on end. Someone was watching him.
Camping in comfort! Who wouldn't want to? Here, I thought, was a book made for me, one that would provide the hints necessary to have an even more comfortable experience in the great outdoors than what I had grown accustomed to the past four decades.
Death is the final appointment we can't avoid, the one we most regret. And yet we're fascinated with tragic deaths such as those that occur in the parks. Indeed, posts on this site about deaths in the parks draw large readership. For those fascinated by such stories, Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite is a must-read.